“Intolerance is not killing us… but, lack of patriotism is…”

Aamir Khan wants to leave this country. That’s fine. What is the big deal? Let him leave since he has every right to think and do what he wishes. Because India is a democracy and he is every bit an Indian. So many people leave this country every day for so many reasons. Better money, better jobs, better living conditions, better education, better health care…the list goes on. And a lot many leave this country for no particular reason at all. When millions queue up in front of foreign embassies and councils for getting a visa to wave goodbye to India forever, Aamir Khan need not think twice before flying off. Let’s not blame one man for speaking out his mind. His concerns may be genuine, at least for him and his family. Why a nation should waste its time and energy to criticise an individual for taking a stand? Let the people who wanna leave India leave. Good riddance. At least, you are not jumping the Berlin wall to get shot by the soviets. Those days are gone and now it is a free world. Go wherever you want…do whatever you feel like doing.

But all those who stay back…prove that India is not what the world thinks it is. I have the strongest faith that 1.25 billion people can work wonders. Make sure we work hard and give everything to this country. Let’s sweat it out and put India on top so that one day every Indian who left this country should ultimately regret having done so.

Who are we to tolerate someone or be tolerated by someone? Are we not Indians? First of all, the word “tolerance” itself has a negative connotation in the context of a democracy. It is a dark spot in the face of peaceful coexistence. I mean, why should we say that we need to ‘tolerate’ a fellow citizen?

Imagine the situation in your family. Do we say that “I’m tolerating my brother / sister…”? Do we say -“Hey I’m practicing tolerance towards my dad…”? If each member in a family says that, then it makes no sense to be called a ‘family’. Love overrides tolerance. Like a family being bonded in love, people across the country should be united in love. Respect an individual’s space as much as you value yours. When will we mature as citizens?

But when we do, there is no question of tolerance or intolerance. Then there will be just one feeling and that is ‘India’.

Imagine the Americans, the Arabs, the British, the Europeans, the Africans, the Chinese and the Australians lining up in front of Indian embassies with their TOHFL (Test OF Hindi As a Foreign Language) scores. Imagine people from all over the world dying to come to India. Not to see our slums, but to be a part of this great culture. This is the dream that every Indian should cherish. This is one dream that 1.25 billion people should see. And dreams are always eager to become realities.

Instead of standing united and working hard towards a better India, what are we doing today?

Fighting among each other over silly, stupid things like mad men. Shame. When will we stop thinking in terms of region, religion and race? When will we start loving our country in its true sense?The problem our country is facing today is not intolerance, it is the lack of patriotism. Every individual seems to be affiliated to a religion, political party or a particular region, but there is hardly anyone affiliated towards India frown emoticon In this mad race to justify our existence in terms of religion, we have lost the spirit and pride of being a ‘nation’. There is little scope for words like ‘tolerance’ or ‘intolerance’ when every individual knows that we are one nation… we are Indians.

I hate to name religions since that is one ugly factor that grossly divides our nation. But still, for better clarity, will break some personal rules anyway.In India, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jains, and Jews have all existed in peace for centuries. There are a million places in this country that holds a Church, a Mosque and a Temple in the same vicinity. Yes, there has been skirmishes at some odd junctures in the history of this nation. But just think which country does not have its share of problems?
For example in US, people are shot dead just because their skin colour is a few shades darker. Do we face that issue here? Nobody will shoot an individual in India for following a religion of his/her choice or having a particular skin colour. Still, we feel that India is altogether an intolerant country compared to others. Every country has its own set of problems. It is our duty, as citizens, to work out a solution. Rather, we tend to run away from the problems. I think that is the way we are tuned to react to issues. Just throw your weapon and run away. Finding a solution to the problem is heroism, running away from it is cowardice.
When you have enough sense to realize that anybody in this nation is as much Indian as you are, why the hell you should talk about ‘tolerance’ at all? That is the exact point of failure we have today. We need to discard this ‘majority’ tolerating ‘minority’ and vice versa concept. This attempt to poison our minds by politicians and media should be thwarted. And let us start thinking together as Indians. We are one. Brothers never ‘tolerate’ each other, they just love and forgive one another. That’s the way it has always been and that is the way it should be…. till eternity.
It is sad to say that our society, politics and education revolves around gratifying personal needs and achieving personal ambitions, keeping in dark the very idea of togetherness and unity.
Our system has taught us to score marks but it teaches nothing about leaving a mark.
It teaches how to grasp and follow trends, but nothing about setting a trend.
It teaches how to worship conventions and nothing about breaking it with our convictions.
It motivates us to get a distinction but rarely tells us anything about being distinct.
It teaches us how to prepare our resumes but nothing about developing a product of international standards.
It teaches how to follow rules and nothing about leadership.
For many, India is just a footstep to chase their dreams in some foreign land which they presume is heaven. For some, this country is a hell hole into which fate has pushed them forcefully. Alas, everyone has the right to think what they think and say what they say…after all this is India.
But for many… this country is nothing short of their mother.
Jai Hind.
-Srinath Krishnamoorthy
Srinath Krishnamoorthy (1)

Srinath Krishnamoorthy was born in Palakkad, Kerala. He holds a B. Tech degree from Government Engineering College, Palakkad and an M. Tech from MA College of Engineering, Kothamangalam. He is an avid reader, blogger and a traveler. Hope We Never Meet Again is his latest novel and marks his transformation from a software engineer to a story engineer.

You can reach him at srinathtk86@gmail.com


9 thoughts on “FEELING RED

  1. I am one of those who do think intolerance is on the rise. And yet, after reading your post I find myself agreeing with you. Maybe, ‘tolerance’ isn’t the right word to describe what we are speaking up against. There is a lack of love and acceptance all around. There is an attempt to control the way we dress, speak and even, think. And that is intolerance yes, but probably better explained as a lack of acceptance and empathy. Thanks for writing this and giving it a better name than ‘tolerance’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for appreciating a different view. Here I have attempted to have a real take on things that matters the most. We never say we tolerate our family members… then why we have to say we need to tolerate our countrymen. Love and patriotism is what is lacking…

      Liked by 1 person

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